The phenomenon of spattering of ablating liquid films is studied under the condition that gas bubbles penetrate the liquid film. The characteristic material parameter for spattering is the surface tension. Contrary to general belief, it will be shown that spattering will not always decrease ablation effectiveness and that, under certain “ideal” conditions, effective boundary-layer cooling by spattered particles may be achieved. Ideal spattering can only occur when the surface tension has a distinct value for a given flow condition. The phenomenon of preferential ablation may be explained by this phenomenon.

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